Funds are requested for partial support of the Society for Developmental Biology's (SDB) annual meetings for the next five years (2014-2018). The Society has organized the major meeting in developmental biology for the past 75 years (missing two during World War II). Since the annual meeting changed its format from a single theme symposium to an open, inclusive meeting in 1993, the meeting size has grown three-fold (from 263 in 1994 to an average of 760 in the last 10 years). By allowing presentations by students and postdoctoral fellows, we have increased the number of abstract submissions from less than 100 to an average of 600's in the last few years. The expansion to include cutting edge themes in developmental biology and related areas such as stem cell and regenerative biology, together with the fast technical advances that allowed investigators to find explanations to questions unanswered before also contributed to this growth in attendance, as well as its standing today in biomedical research and public interest. SDB was founded in 1939 and is today the major society devoted to this field, with over 2200 members worldwide, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior and established investigators, many of whom hold NIH grants and fellowships. The proposed meetings will continue the tradition of mixing poster presentations, plenary sessions, concurrent symposia, the Hilde Mangold Postdoctoral Symposium, the awards lectures, an education symposium and workshops on new technologies, education and current issues. In all sessions, a special effort is made to have a diversity of invited speakers in terms of: model organisms, experimental approaches, career stages, gender and racial/ethnic background. For the concurrent symposia at least four short talk slots are reserved per session for abstracts selected from submissions, with preference given to qualified junior investigators. The education symposium and workshop focus on topics such as effective teaching and mentoring strategies at university and pre-college levels, outreach to the lay public, as well as career-related issues. They also address bioethics of research, which is highly relevant to establishing national policies for research on stem cells and cloning, as well as public understanding of science, including evolution. Additional activities that enrich the annual meetings include: On alternating years we hold a Boot Camp for New Faculty or a Reboot Camp for Mid-career Faculty the day preceding and on the first day of the meeting for professional development of untenured and mid-career faculty, respectively. SDB's Professional Development and Education Committee is responsible for these workshops. Call for up to two SDB member organized Satellite Symposia are made and will continue to be made yearly to SDB members. These Symposia complement the offerings of the annual meeting and are held on the opening day of the meeting. These pre-meeting events have been well-attended throughout the last ten years and will continue during this proposal period. The next meeting, to be held at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA is a return to our previous tradition of meetings on university campuses, a practice no longer possible because only a few campuses have facilities large enough for our growing meeting needs. It will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of founding of the Society and as such, sessions highlighting history and breakthroughs will be included in the program. The opening Presidential Symposium will address What have genetic model organisms taught us, where experts will give us an overview of what each organism has contributed to advancing our understanding of developmental processes. The two plenary and nine concurrent sessions will bring reports on the latest discoveries in developmental mechanisms, such as gene regulation, genomics, cell polarity, migration and differentiation, invasion and cancer, mechanical influences, tissue engineering, morphogenesis, organogenesis, evo-devo, organismal interactions, neural development. This meeting will be followed by meetings in Snowbird, Utah, Central region, West and East coast, as rotation throughout the various regions eases the travel burden for participants in the different zones of the country. Efforts will be continually made to find venues of easy access and as economical as possible, including keeping the tradition of university campuses as venue for their collegial atmosphere so cherished by our members.
The annual meetings of the Society for Developmental Biology (73rd in 2014) are the major gathering in the field for scientists at all stages of their career from around the World. Researchers working on various organisms and using different approaches present their own work and learn about the latest findings from each other. These meetings also provide a forum for sound, evidence-based discussions of advances in developmental biology and related areas as applied to medicine, agriculture and national science policy.